February 6, 2019 at 3:33 pm
CHITRAL: A section of the people of Mastuj tehsil want creation of two more tehsils in Upper Chitral and their strengthening instead of a creating a new district for which they contend that the merely a new district will not solve their perennial problems some of which were chronic nature.
The bifurcation of Chitral district into two, Lower and Upper Chitral, had been announced by the former chief minister Parvez Khattak in November 2017 and notification issued in December last practical steps for the newly created district of Upper Chitral are yet to be taken.
The people of the area are divided over the creation of the newly district while the antagonists argue that the time was not ripe and that two new tehsils should be carved out in Torkhow and Mastuj Khas provided with facilities in full scale in all sectors of development and social service.
They contend that a huge amount of Rs. 5 billion is required for development and providing infrastructures of new district and it will take at least half decade for the completion of the project during which the people will suffer badly as witnessed in Torghar and some other newly created districts.
Tanvir Ali, a former councilor said that the posting of DC and DPO and some other officers will not solve the problems at all unless and untill the physical infrastructures are developed including a DHQ hospital with all posts of doctors and specialists filled and facilities provided.
Mr. Ali suggested that the Upper Chitral district will embrace an area of about 8 thousand square kilometers where people residing in remote valleys of Baroghil, Yarkhoon, Laspur, Rech, Khot, Oveer, Terich and Melp will benefit from the newly created tehsils in Mastuj Khas and Torkhow.
“The heavy funds meant for the new district can be utilized for establishment of a tehsil headquarters hospitals, road infrastructures, drinking water supply schemes, suspension bridges over the rivers and streams and strengthening of rural healthcare facilities.
The people will get their problems solved at their doorsteps only if tehsils are created and tehsil offices of all the devolved and non-devolved departments are established with efficient officers posted there.
In the proposed local government system, the district tier is being slashed rendering tehsil as the highest tier and in such scenario, most of the business of the government will be dealt in the tehsil level instead of district ”, he said.
Reiterating his stance he said that almost all the problems faced by the people regarding facilities and services can be solved by the tehsil officers coupled with the elected tehsil nazim.
He said that as far as development funds for the proposed new district is concerned, it will hardly make a difference as the distribution of resources is made on the basis of population by the provincial finance commission.
He asserted that Upper Chitral district was mired in backwardness and poverty where road infrastructures are in the worst condition and are deprived of the facilities of safe drinking water and electricity and the creation of a new district will not solve the chronic problems.
Mr. Ali said that the population of Chitral is 447352 people as per the latest census which was quite low to be divided into two while the Election Commission of Pakistan has hack the one constituency of provincial assembly from Chitral last year while making delimitation for the general election.
“Even if the district is bifurcated, the two newly created districts will be represented by a single member of provincial assembly till the next census and delimitation is made on its basis”, he said.
The local intellectual and former project manager of IUCN in Chitral, Dr.Inayatullah Faizi, however, contended that the new district is inevitable for its development as its DC will act as focal person to establish linkage with the government to seek funds for development.